The #BornAndMade campaign is celebrating women. And it's fantastic.

Maybe you've seen pics of some of your friends' beautiful faces with writing over them like this in your social media feed the past few days:


Photo by #BornAndMade, used with permission.

So far, over 50,000 people have made pics like those above and there's a great reason why.

Being a woman isn't always easy. (Stick with me here.)

We're constantly getting messages, both subtle and quite overt, telling us who to be: how to dress, how to do our hair, what size we should be, what tone of voice we should use when we speak, and even what words we should choose.

But you know what we should actually be? Ourselves! Fully, boldly, and proudly ourselves.

That's why Lisa Price, founder of hair and skin-care company Carol's Daughter, and Emily Greener, co-founder of the nonprofit I Am That Girl, teamed up to create the #BornAndMade campaign.

They're showing us who to be in the best way possible by helping us reflect on who we already are and encouraging us to share that with the world.

The purpose of the #BornAndMade campaign is quite simple: to encourage girls and women to be who they were born and made to be.

"I want every woman and girl to know she has worth, she is not insignificant in this world. She just needs to understand who she is," Price told me.

"I want every woman and girl to know she has worth, she is not insignificant in this world. She just needs to understand who she is."

"That means knowing who you were born and made to be, but then determining where you want to take that knowledge. It can empower you in unexpected ways."

It's a great campaign for girls and women alike. Just visit the site, upload a photo, fill in the blanks, and share.

Even my daughter made one:

My husband's and my amazing daughter, who is so proud of who she is.

I love campaigns like this. As a mom, I want to raise my daughter to be herself — and to remain proud of who she is, in spite of the messaging that often plants seeds of self-doubt. As Greener told me, "Beauty is the goodness inside you that comes out of you and impacts the world, starting with your own world."

"I want girls out there to celebrate every fiber that makes them unique, to recognize that they can be who they were born and made to be, not who they're supposed to be," Price added.

Let's drown out the negatives with confidence and pride in ourselves.

This campaign is taking off, with women sharing their #BornAndMade photos all over Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram:




When it comes to beauty, we all have it. "Beauty is inherent in every single person. It cannot be added or taken away. It shines from within us and touches every person we meet," Price said.

"Part of what I love about this campaign is that the words are over what we would normally perceive to be our beauty. Our face, eyes, smile, hair. The words are our power and the representation of the beauty that is shining through them."

As for the negative messages we get all the time, Greener has some great advice: "Surround yourself with a community that reminds you who you are (and who you're capable of being) every single day, who make it safe for you to say the things that are true for you in any given moment, and who support you in all of the moments along your own personal journey — the good, the bad, the ugly, and the gorgeous."

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

When the COVID-19 pandemic socially distanced the world and pushed off the 2020 Olympics, we knew the games weren't going to be the same. The fact that they're even happening this year is a miracle, but without spectators and the usual hustle and bustle surrounding the events, it definitely feels different.

But it's not just the games themselves that have changed. The coverage of the Olympics has changed as well, including the unexpected addition of un-expert, uncensored commentary from comedian Kevin Hart and rapper Snoop Dogg on NBC's Peacock.

In the topsy-turvy world we're currently living in, it's both a refreshing and hilarious addition to the Olympic lineup.

Just watch this clip of them narrating an equestrian event. (Language warning if you've got kiddos nearby. The first video is bleeped, but the others aren't.)

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